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Best design for mobile power

  1. Jun 1, 2004 #1
    I was wondering what would be the best idea for mobile power? Batteries, generators, solar, nuclear?

    Something/Anything that can be put on wheels and moved... :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2004 #2


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    Steal a giant's kinetic wristwatch :biggrin:
  4. Jun 1, 2004 #3
    Depends on the application.
  5. Jun 1, 2004 #4

    No more than 25,000 watts.
  6. Jun 1, 2004 #5
    Nuclear is definitly the way to go. are isotopes that the USR used for satelites, and remote base stations combined with thero-pile junctions produce a steady state of power for many years. Do not want to crash however, ans the radiation is somewhat leathal to living organisms, and may need to go through 1000 layers of permits, lawers, burrocraps to pull it off, but do not give up the dream.
  7. Jun 1, 2004 #6
    I've always wondered what the world would be like with widespread commercial RTG (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) use.
  8. Jun 1, 2004 #7
    As long as the bad guyes are around we will never know.
  9. Jun 2, 2004 #8
    Bad guys? Even without bad guys, I'm not sure we could ever get over people's irrational fear of the N and R words (nuclear and radioactive).
  10. Jun 2, 2004 #9


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    Hmm... just read a bit about RTGs. My biggest concerns:
    How much does it cost to produce the shells that contain the radioactive material?
    Could they be made safe from tampering?
  11. Jun 2, 2004 #10
    Here's a PDF on space RTG safety:

    http://www.aboutnuclear.org/docs/space/srpssafety.pdf [Broken]

    Summary: The cases are designed to be virtually indestructible due to launch safety concerns. Also, the ceramic form of plutonium-238 dioxide is not weapons grade, nor does any fission take place. It also has low chemical reactivity.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  12. Jun 2, 2004 #11


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    Transmit power via UV induced atmospheric plasma. A UV laser undergoes a self-focussing effect in atmosphere. When a powerful UV beam becomes focussed enough, it causes the air in it's path to become plasma. The plasma conducts electricity. So, as long as you are in air, and in the line-of-site of a power plant, you have constant power at your dispsosal.

  13. Jun 2, 2004 #12


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    Okay, so I will tuck my safety concerns away.
    But here is some info on iridium, used, with graphite, in the construction of the shells.

    The above cost info was as of 1990. For comparison, the cost of X/troy ounce (all from 2004):

    Gold $389.75.
    Platinum $816.
    Palladium $265.
    Silver $6.10
    *Graphite $660./mt

    Sounds like the things that make iridium (or other material) a suitable material also make it a costly one :frown:

    I wonder how much each of these commercially available RTGs would cost? Of course, as wwtog said, do not give up the dream :)

    **Oh yeah...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  14. Jun 3, 2004 #13
    Norjl, hey, got any references, papers, articles, on your IR laser, plasma do-wa-jiggy?

    I would really like to know.

    And to AF. Your only hope is diesil electric gensets, give up the dream. reality

    A typical 1 GW nuclear reactor needs it's new 40 ton core once a year. This seathing mess of isotopic radioactivity waste, would kill pedestrians on the sidewalks like flys if it were loaded on a flatbed and driven down the road.
  15. Jun 3, 2004 #14


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    Here is an Abstract of a seminar that I unfortunately missed.

    Speaker : Jean-Claude Diels, U of New Mexico


    "Intense pulses can create their own waveguide in air. Understanding these highly nonlinear phenomena is a serious challenge for theoreticians. Bringing the filaments under control - or even just measuring the relevant parameters - is equally challenging to experimentalists. Yet the potential applications are quite exciting and promising.

    The talk presents the exciting experimental results on the near-IR and UV filaments. The obtained results suggest that the UV filaments could be scaled to high energies and losslessly propagated through very long distances. A simple analytical theory indicates that, indeed, up to 1 Joule can be concentrated in a UV filament of 100 mm diameter, and it will propagate without diffraction for several kilometers. Also shown is that these filaments are robust against thermal turbulences. Arrays of filaments can be launched through a very small aperture of an aerodynamic window, eliminating the requirement for large aperture optics."

    He has done this sort of thing to sap the charges from potential lightning sources, but I think the power transmission is an entirely new field, so there probably isn't much on it.

  16. Jun 3, 2004 #15
    Small gas turbine electric generator. Perfect of an electric car if one ignores the heat and noise issues. A GT electric generator would be easier to implement than a GT drive train because the GT electric turbine would only need one gear combination to reduce GTG shaft speed to some acceptible generator shaft speed (4000 rpm for a 12 pole rotor@400Hz). The generator would always spin at some multiple of the GT turbine speed thus all you have to do is start the GT and run it continuously at its peak effecient turbine speed. To very voltage simply very the rotor field.
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